the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood Health Department and the American Cancer Society remind you that it’s important to quit smoking. The Great American Smokeout can help.
The Great American Smokeout is an annual event held on the Thursday before Thanksgiving (this year observed on Thursday, November 15th) that encourages smokers to make a plan to quit smoking or explore/utilize quit-smoking resources. About two out of three adult smokers want to quit smoking cigarettes, and approximately half of smokers made a quit attempt in the preceding year. Getting effective help through counseling and use of medications can increase the chances of quitting by as much as threefold. By quitting, even for one day, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life—one that can lead to reducing the risk of chronic diseases linked to tobacco use.
Quitting smoking isn’t easy. It takes time. And a plan. You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with day one. Let the Great American Smokeout event on November 15 be your day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life. You’ll be joining thousands of smokers across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing your cancer risk. Plus, the American Cancer Society can help you access the resources and support you need to quit.
Nearly 38 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. And more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. While the cigarette smoking rate has dropped significantly, from 42% in 1965 to less than 15.5% in 2016, the gains have been inconsistent. Some groups of Americans suffer disproportionately from smoking-related cancer and other diseases, including those who have less education, who live below the poverty level, or who suffer from serious psychological distress, as well as certain racial and ethnic groups, and lesbians, gays and bisexuals.
Quitting smoking improves health immediately and over the long term – at any age. Stopping smoking is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling and medications doubles or even triples your chances of quitting successfully.
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for 29% of all cancer deaths. Smoking not only causes cancer. It can damage nearly every organ in the body, including the lungs, heart, blood vessels, reproductive organs, mouth, skin, eyes, and bones.
If you are a smoker, the most important thing you can do to improve your health is to quit smoking. Addiction to nicotine in cigarettes is one of the strongest and most deadly addictions one can have.
Quitting is hard for many people who smoke. It takes commitment and starts with a plan, often takes more than one quit attempt, and requires a lot of support. Often, the younger one is when s/he starts to smoke, the more intense the addiction.
Smokers are strongly advised to use proven cessation methods, such as prescription medications and counseling, or a combination of both, to quit smoking. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to get their advice.
Support is also important. Smoking cessation programs, telephone quit lines, the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart program, Nicotine Anonymous meetings, self-help materials such as books and pamphlets, and smoking counselors or coaches can be a great help.
You should also tell family, friends, and co-workers that you are trying to quit. Someone who feels supported is more likely to quit smoking for good. Talk to your significant others about how they can best support you in your effort to become smoke-free.
Quitting may not be easy, but you can do it and the American Cancer Society can help. The American Cancer Society is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support, from answering questions about quitting smoking to finding national or local resources to help you quit. To find out more, visit cancer.org/smokeout or call 1-800-227-2345.
For free social support on Facebook, please “like” the American Cancer Society’s Quit For Life page. The Quit For Life program is a phone-based coaching and web-based learning support service to help smokers quit. It’s offered by 25 states and more than 700 employers and health plans throughout the US. Visit quitnow.net to learn more about the Quit For Life program and see if you qualify.